After the grave perils of the recent disturbances in our realm, my dearest first born son, Edward, was delivered as a hostage for securing and confirming the peace in our realm, but now, blessed be God, the disturbance has been settled.
In order to provide happily for his release, and also to confirm and finally complete the tranquillity and peace of the realm it is necessary that we should have discussion with our bishops and barons, and to that end we require your advice.
We ask, in the faith and love in which you are bound to us, and setting aside every other matter or reason, that you should be with us at London on 20 January 1265, to discuss these things, with us and with our bishops and barons, whom we have caused to be summoned there.
This document was sent out to the counties of England in the king’s name by Simon de Montfort. It is very interesting in that it asks men to come to Parliament who are not as high ranking as the great barons and bishops. Some say that this is Simon de Montfort’s commitment to making sure that a wider range of people in England have more say in how the country was run. Others argue that de Montfort is losing the support of the great barons and he invites these other groups to provide him with support in Parliament against the barons.
Summons to Parliament 1265
The National Archives
Test your understanding
Who was the hostage held by Simon de Montfort?
Close... These were both key players in this time... but they weren’t locked away by Simon de Montfort.
Why don’t you return to the document and listen to the transcript?
Great answer, and it is the correct one!
Indeed — Simon de Montfort locked up the King’s son, Edward... along with King Henry III himself.
Why have the barons rebelled against Henry III?
- Is it because Simon de Montfort is an ambitious traitor who wants power for himself? Is he not really interested in the liberties granted by Magna Carta and is acting like a revolutionary dictator by seizing power?
- Or is it Henry who cannot be trusted? Has he ruled the kingdom badly and he is also trying to get out of commitments he has made to rule according to Magna Carta and the Provisions of Oxford?
- It is the view of this chronicle that the barons have rebelled against King Henry III because…